MANAWAN, Que. — A three-year-old boy and his five-year-old brother from a First Nations community in Quebec were recovering Friday after allegedly being beaten by a group of other children.
Chief Constant Awashish of the Atikamekw Nation said the boys were allegedly attacked by some older children on a playground in Manawan earlier this week.
"Two little boys were jumped by two or three other little boys, a little older than the victims," he said in a phone interview.
He said both boys were airlifted to hospital after a family member stopped the incident and called emergency services.
The older boy was released after being sent to a hospital in Joliette, while the younger boy, who sustained more serious injuries, remained in hospital in Montreal, according to Awashish.
The younger boy was "doing very well" and should be released by the beginning of next week, he said.
Awashish said the incident was "traumatizing" to many in Manawan, a tight-knit community about 250 kilometres north of Montreal.
"You always hear about stuff like that happening everywhere, but we never think it will happen in our own community," he said.
He said support and counselling were being made available to anyone who needed it, including the families of the alleged victims and of the alleged perpetrators.
"The families of the aggressors are in shock, they're stressed, they don't know how to handle this," he said.
Local police as well as youth and social services were investigating the incident.